The influence on a business can be determined by a number of factors that both can benefit and cause underlying issues within the organisation. The influential characteristics of a business will determine whether the customers and staff feel welcome and willing to shop in that business on a daily/weekly basis.
The first type of influence is seen as Culture. The way Culture is determined is by the way in which a person acts, as in the behaviours that they have and their actions within the workplace. It is reflected in the way an individual works or does not work, and whether or not it is in line with the values of the company. There are many different types of influences that hinder an individual’s culture, such as; history, goals and objectives, values, the environment, staff and personal habits.
Within Culture, Charles Handy, son of an Irish Protestant Vicar had an idea that there was a relation between an individual’s religion and their mind-set to work. According to Charles Handy there is four different types of Culture that be defined within any workplace. The four different types are as follows:
• Role Culture
• Power Culture
• Task Culture
• Person Culture
The first type of culture is Role Culture; it is a simple structure and is filtered down from the manager to the team leaders to other members of staff. The position within the business determines the amount of power or control the individual has within the business. The role within the business would essentially allow the staff to feel under pressure and the managers would have total influence over the work that is carried out and what work needs to be done in the nearby future.
According to Sainsbury’s they work under the Role culture predominantly as they allocate the workload from the top tier down. They ensure that the business is structured in a specific way that would allow each employee to know what is expected of them and how they would go about doing something. Each employee needs to meet deadlines and if they are unable to meet the current deadline their superior would ask for good reason to why a task is not complete and it would be strike upon their name.
In addition to Role culture a business also would work under another culture as they would not fill the needs of company under one area as it would be very vague. Sainsbury’s in my eyes work under the task culture, in addition to the role culture. Task culture can be seen as being very task orientated and if the work is completed then the work environment would be a good healthy environment. Focusing on the job at hand for the employees would be their main mind-set as they are given a specific role to play within the organisation and if they did not complete that role then Sainsbury’s would not reach their targets.
Within Sainsbury’s they look at a number of ways to motivate the employees to better themselves and improve their skills to show that they matter. This is done through mentoring schemes which would further develop the knowledge and skills of each employee that has been showing extensive results each month. This would further allow the employees to know how the managers operate within the business, and the way they need to work to ensure all employees are kept satisfied and motivated each working day. By influencing an employee to use their initiative within their role in the business and if they are unsure of a certain area of work then talk to their line manager.
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, working from the bottom up, the basic needs of an individual needs to be met first before anything else is met as these are the physiological and safety needs of an employee.
The basic needs of an employee is to be given food, water, warmth and rest this can be seen in Sainsbury’s by offering a staff room, the employees working at room temperature and regular breaks within the working day.. The second section is safety needs, this is done by ensuring each of the employees is kept safe and that they feel secure within the workplace each time they step in it. Sainsbury’s fair treatment policy is put in place for the safety needs as it allows the employees to voice their opinions and still be safe without the chance of losing their positions within the business. The managers are trained in a diverse method which would allow them to look at all aspects of the business and would give them a complete over-view of the problem at hand and find the best way to counsel the employee to ensure they are happy and secure in the workplace.
The next tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the psychological needs of an individual and this can be seen by ensure the employee is felt as if they are a part of the big picture and felt worthy of being there. This is done within Sainsbury’s by the Sainsbury’s Staff Association (SSA) and they focus on staff well-being, done through staff outing to encourage that it is all not work and no play. By doing this the employees can feel that they belong to the business as a whole and that they will not be left excluded within the workplace, everyone works as a whole to ensure the business runs smoothly.
The final tier of the hierarchy of needs is the self-actualisation area and this is done through the schemes previously talked about which would allow the employee to better themselves and motivate them to work harder. If the employees are aware that they can get promotions and get to a larger role within the business then they may work harder to ensure that they reap the benefits.
The influence of politics within Sainsbury’s can be seen in the way in which the managers and the other staff members are treated as they all have a common staff area which means that they are all on an equal playing field. By doing this is reduces the border between each employee and their line manager and increases productivity. Within all jobs there is a level of politics but the way in which businesses try to minimise it, is the difference between a happy workforce and an unhappy workforce. The way in which Sainsbury’s is influenced by politics is by the managers leading by example and it follows down the chain from the oldest employee to the youngest and all the way back up again. If the employees are able to lead by example and show that no matter what role they place within the business that they are creating an example of themselves in a good light then other should follow. This may be done by the way an employee speaks to a fellow staff member, the way they treat a customer or the way they perceive themselves on company ground. If the employee or manager is showcasing the business in a bad light then there may be consequences which may lead to suspensions and possibly loss of job if it persisted.
The power in a business such as Sainsbury’s can effect employees one of two ways, it can be done by either motivating them to do their work and want to succeed and ensure that the business furthers itself or have them employees resent their job and not take pride in their work. As an individual employee, it depends on the way in which the power is being showcased, whether it is being given in an autocratic or democratic leadership style as this may have a factor to play or whether or not the employee feels appreciated. Each employee wants to be treated with respect and that they mean something to the business. This can be done by giving them more responsibilities or having a conversation with them proving that there are no barriers too big or too small between employees. The power in an organisation like Sainsbury’s can be seen to be a high pressured situation as their first and foremost goal is to ensure that their staff and customers are treated with respect and that they are a happy client/workforce but their second objective may be to the leading supermarket within the UK. At certain times push must come to shove and at a specific time the manager may not be so easy on the employee if they are not getting the numbers they need. This may result in power being influenced in the wrong way by putting pressure on employees to do their job, do it fast but most importantly do it effectively. At this certain time the employees may not be motivated to do their job meaning that they will not be willing to be spoken in a certain way.
Sainsbury’s is seen as one of the largest supermarkets in the UK and they did not get their by allowing their employees to dictate the decisions the managers make. The employees have a right to voice their opinion but they are there for the primary reason to earn a wage and at specific times the manager may try and influence the employees to work harder thus influencing them with monetary rewards.
According to French and Ryan there is five possible ways that power is derived within a business and thus getting different types of reactions and behaviours from fellow colleagues.
• Reward power
• Coercive Power
• Legitimate Power
• Referent/Charismatic Power
• Expert power